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March 17, 1995 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-17

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, March 17, 1995

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420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by
students at the
University of Michigan


Editor in Chief
Editorial Page Editors

Cynicism takes 'U' over

Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.
Neither code nor amendments satisfactor

R egent Deane Baker (R-Ann Arbor) said it
best: "I have long believed in no code at
all. Failing that, I think it should be as simple
as it can be, and it doesn't appear that it is as
simple as it was before." Legally, the Univer-
sity should have some sort of sexual harass-
ment policy in place, as well as an alcohol and
drug policy. However, a policy does not
madate a document as restrictive as the State-
ment of Student Rights and Responsibilities,
otherwise known as the code. Nor should it
be included in regental bylaws. The Univer-
sity needs to scrap the existing code and start
over. It could adopt a method of dealing with
sexual harassment complaints and discour-
aging alcohol and drug use, without invading
the private lives of the students or binding
students to unnecessary regulation.
On Jan. 31 amendments to the code were
voted on by a student panelists. The final
results produced few improvements and
added complications. Finally released last
week, the amendments will now go to the
Board of Regents, which will vote on them at
its April meeting.
One positive amendment revokes the duty
of the judicial adviser to determine whether
testimony at a code hearing "would be irrel-
evant, immaterial, or redundant." In its origi-
nal form, the documentplaces adisproportion-
ate amount of interpretive and decision-mak-
ing power solely into the hands of the judicial
adviser, a position currently held by Mary Lou
Antieau. However, while this individual
amendment is a step in the right direction, later
amendments add to the power of the judicial
adviser, virtually erasing any gains made.
Another amendment provides for cross-
examination of eyewitness statements against
the accused, a distinct advance. Students must
not be helpless victims of the code and this will
help to ensure the fairness of the hearing pro-
cess. Despite this second small achievement,
students still may nothave legal representation
-only an adviser-at hearings, afundamen-
the University would do well to emulate.
However, the University inflates its judi-
Wanted: An effective
Preposterous - that is the only word to
describe the ordeal the administration has put
students through in allowing them to amend
the code. Students who care about how the
policy affects them are faced with vague an-
swers, bureaucracy and half-hearted efforts on
the part of the administration.
The student panelists who attended the
amendment hearing are to be commended.
They made it possible to reach a quorum of
26 out of 50, and put the amendment process
underway. However, it must be remembered
that the hearing attempts failed three times
before even getting off the ground because
26 jurors could not be found. On the fourth
try, the 26 were barely gathered together
after an hour of phone calls and delays.
Once proposals began, groups had one
minute per amendment to present. Then any-
one wishing to speak for or against the amend-
ment was allowed 30 seconds, and speakers
were limited to two pro and two con. The
person presiding over the event seemed con-
fused at times, and was at best unfriendly,
cutting people offin mid-sentence. It is beyond

imagination how the panelists learned any of
the reasoning behind proposals, despite their
careful questions and deliberation. The atmo-
sphere more closely resembled a circus than an
amendment hearing.

cial authority. Originally the code could fol-
low one as far as parts of Ypsilanti because of
the 30-mile radius provision. It also placed
students in double jeopardy by duplicating
legal trials so that students could be tried on
two levels for the same crime. With the new
amendments the jurisdiction of the code has
been extended to apply to offenses that "would
fall under the scope of this statement and
would clearly threaten the safety of the Uni-
versity community to fulfill its academic mis-
sion." Two offenses have also been added:
murder and breach of hearing confidentiality.
The good intentions ofthe student panelists are
apparent, but the amendments render the Uni-
versity as an all-powerful force in students'
lives - an unwanted force. Everyone is inno-
cent until proven guilty, including those en-
rolled as students. The University does not
have the right to be legislature, police, judge
and jury.
In its zeal to be a law-abiding, yet dictato-
rial entity, the University insists that under the
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act it
must keep all code proceedings a secret. The
section of the code that deals with this issue has
been amended to strengthen that resolution
when it must be loosened, for the law does not
apply to non-academic information-and this
is a "code of non-academic conduct." Hear-
ings and records must be opened to keep the
process above board at all times.
The lone change that stands out as a plus is
the AdvisorCorps amendment, which provides
for a group of 10 or more students specially
trained in the intricacies of the code to act as
peer advisers. Any measure to involve stu-
dents in the process is worth consideration.
None of the amendments are final until
the regents vote on them. When examining
the amendment proposals, regents must keep
in mind the students' best interests. While
many of the amendments are undesirable, the
regents must know that they were voted on
by 26 students, and merit serious consider-
ation based on the source. The final product
must reflect both what the students have
asked for and what is best for all students.
amendment process
If the any progress is to be made by amend-
ing the code, it must be done in an environment
conducive to careful consideration. Students
voting on changes must be well-informed and
willing to participate. The administration's
treatment of the issue is insulting-its attitude
points to a general lack of faith in the intelli-
gence of the students. At every turn the Uni-
versity tries to stall the process as if it believes
that students will be pacified with mere token
Proposed amendments should have gone
through a two-part process before reaching
the regents' table. Put the responsibility in
the hands of the Michigan Student Assem-
bly, which the students elect as their collec-
tive voice. First, MSA would vote on reason-
able code amendments proposed, then put it
to a Universitywide student referendum. This
method would ensure the efficiency of the
amendment process, as well as an opportunity
for all students to approve amendments to the
code. Unless an amendment is required to
conform with the law, it should go through
MSA and the student body before regents are

allowed to vote on it. Furthermore, the admin-
istration should consider the feelings of MSA
and the majority of the student body - and
both overwhelmingly believe that the code,
must be abolished.

Michigan has one of the most diverse
student bodies in the nation, but it
seems that every student shares one opin-
We suck.
It's true. Everything here sucks, if you
listen to the students. Walk around campus
and listen in on everyone's conversations.
In one day, you are likely to hear all of the
The University itself, consistently ranked
among the top 20 in the country, is entirely
"overrated," basically just plain "lousy,"
full of "difficult" classes which are "too
easy," taught by professors who "don't care
about students" and "give too much work"
but still "don't teach anything."
It doesn't really matter, though, because
the students are "not real smart" and, despite
belonging to what must be a couple hundred
student groups, are "apathetic." Still, there
manage to be enough "geeks" to "screw up
the curve" and make the school "too com-
And what can students do with their free
time? Certainly nothing in Ann Arborwhich
has concerts and art exhibits and festivals of
all kinds, but nonetheless is a "dead town"
with "nothing fun to do." Besides, the apa-

thetic students "never take advantage of the
The Athletic Department, too, is over-
rated. The football team, 16-8 over the past
two years, is "terrible," an "embarrassment"
to the University. In fact, the football team
is so bad it might as well be coached by
men's basketball coach Steve Fisher, who
has been in three national championship
games in six seasons yet "can't coach," has
"no control over his players" and, in gen-
eral, is "lucky."
Even if you do want to find out about
these teams, you are reading the wrong
publication. The Daily, winner of numerous
national awards over the past five years, is
a "liberal" "sexist" "overly feminist" "rac-
ist" "communist" "rag."
The weather is "terrible," even though
... well, OK, the weather really is terrible.
But not everything is terrible. In fact,
most things here are outstanding, the envy
of almost every university in the country.
Nobody here believes it, though. A Cul-
ture of Cynicism hangs over the University
like the steel-gray January clouds. Nothing,
it seems, is quite good enough.
Really? How many schools would turn
down an exchange of faculties with Michi-

gan? Or football teams? Or basketball
coaches? Or student newspapers? Or stu-
dent bodies? Or cultural environments?
Why, there are people out there who would
swap anything with Michigan.
You don't believe it. Of course you
don't. Michigan? Good? C'mon. As far as
the average student is concerned, Michigan
is not good at anything. People call this "A
Public Ivy," and everyone responds, "Yeah,
emphasis on the public," like it was some
kind of insult. Students act like "Public Ivy"
is the collegiate equivalent of"Sour Caviar"
- one adjective ruins the whole phrase,
Even where there is spirit-and, despite
the cynicism, there is plenty of spirit -
everyone denies its existence. Over
100,000 people pack Michigan Stadium
on fall Saturdays. But noblqy here talks
about the size of the crowd. They talk
about how the fans are too quiet.
Everything sucks, huh? Fine then. Ev-
erything sucks. And in 20 years, when you
think back on your college years, don't fool
yourself with memories of friends or tales of
good times. Just keep telling yourself col-
lege sucked.
By then, maybe we'll all realize that it's
just not true.




MARK" 1k)HRMAN.4 DC You S E RK - TSLST rricF9 t~y
u~T H . TH WNOLei TRUTH', .
/ j- 7741

"He ate his
birthday cakes -
four were bought
by friends. It was
sugar city. Marble
Is his favorite."
-- Vilma Baker,
mother of LSA sopho-
more Jake Baker,
describing the Internet
sex author's homecom-
ing after nearly a
month in federal prison

Sexism by any
other name is
still sexism
To the Daily:
In her letter in the March 6
edition of the Daily, Sandy
Eriksen attacks James Cho for
his supposed "misinterpretation
of gender issues." She could not
be more wrong. Ms. Eriksen
cites a column in which Mr.
Cho had written about the use of
unfair hiring practices to attract
Mr. Cho had stated, "Open
all the doors, yes, and let men
and women compete on the
same, level playing field wher-
ever they so desire." With this,
James Cho reveals his intellect.
And with her attack, Ms. Eriksen
demonstrates her lack of rea-
son. Why not open the doors?
Why not allow fair competi-
Is she afraid of fair competi-
tion? No.I think that Ms. Eriksen
perceives some sort of vague,
historical injustice, and wants
the system to favor her - to pay
her back. Call it years of op-
pression, call it whatever you
wish. The facts are plain and
true - sexism is when sex is
used as a basis for deciding who
gets a job or position, no matter
what the justification. That's just
about as plain and as simple as
it gets. Any time sex is used as
a deciding factor, it's sexism,
and it is wrong. What Ms.
Eriksen is supporting, namely
those unfair and sexist hiring
practices, is sexism, clear and
true. You, Ms. Eriksen, are a
"But men have been hired

efited from their maligned hiring
practices. And don't go and tell
me that I am oppressing and
disempowering women. I have
never(norhas Mr. Cho, I'm sure),
oppressed a woman. So please
don't presume that all men are
misogynistic oppressors, because
that's wrong. We just want the
system to treat us fairly, and not
discriminate on the basis of sex.
The fact of the matter is that
women and men are fundamen-
tally different. Yes, different.
Not better, not worse, just dif-
ferent. Men are better than
women at some things, and
women are better than men at
some things. When the world
realizes that ability - and noth-
ing else - should be the deter-
mining factor in decision mak-
ing, the best person for the job -
male orfemale-will bechosen.
Now isn't that the right thing to
Randall A. Julp
Michigan Men's Club
LSA sophomore
Shed no tears
for Jake Baker
To the Daily:
I am grievously disappointed
at the outpouring of sympathy
for the man arrested for posting a
rape/torture story about a Uni-
versity student.
Why is there so much identi-
fication with men who concoct
specific, disgusting scenarios of
the torture and rape of women?
Where is the sympathy for
the woman who was named?
Where is our identification with
her anger and fear? How would

reign of terror in Ann Arbor. The
focus about the rapist has totally
shifted. No one is talking about
the survivors of his vicious beat-
ings and horrible sexual assaults.
Perhaps that's too painful to think
about. No, the focus seems to
solely be on the civil rights of
It is possible that the police
engaged in racist practices.
Those experiencing that should
come forward with specifics for
investigation. Racism exists in
all corners of our society.
However, I have no sympa-
thy for men who have prior con-
victions of rape who were asked
to give blood.
All I can think of is the
woman lay in Eberwhite Woods
all night having been left for
dead by the serial rapist. All I
can think about is the woman
brutally attacked at Community
High School. All I can think
about is Christine Gailbreath -
beaten, murdered and raped.
Many of these crimes hap-
pened at the University -where
is the outrage and disgust and
Susan McGee
Ann Arbor resident
Kiss-In debate
about rights
To the DaIly:
I have been following the
Queer Kiss-In/Mr. John Yob
discussion and feel that a few
main points have been over-
Homosexuality is a lifestyle.
It may be different, but it is a
way of life, for some people.
The Queer Kiss-In is simply a

is a "progressive and liberal"
school. The University prides
itself on being culturally and
ethnically diverse. However,
there are other reasons for at.
tending this school. The main
goal of a college education is to
help us understand the world,
and in so understanding also
develop the skills that will help
us to survive in society. It en-
ables us to think for ourselves in
new and different ways. The
reason I chose University of
Michigan was to ensure that I
got the best possible education I
could. I would hope that Mr.
John Yob also had that idea in
mind when he applied to the
University. Let us not forget
that we are here to get an educa-
tion. Whether that education con-
sists of pure classes or also has
elements of experience, such as
the Queer Kiss-In, is up to the*
Erica Bell
LSA sophomore
E. Engineering
has oversight
To the Daily:
The newly restored part of
East Engineering is nicely done,
and I'm sure the millions of
dollars spent on it by the admin-
istration were -well spent, but I
think an error was made. If you
face the main entrance of the
building, the wheelchair ramp
comes up the left side, but the
only automatic door (presum-0
ably for people in wheelchairs)
is all the way on the right side of
the entrance.
So, during class changing
,;P C ,, in n ,hi- 'ai,

University President James J. Duderstadt
Office of the President
2068 Fleming Administration Building


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